WPA Politicizes Skateboarding

Grind King Ads Weigh In on Violence, Hatred
LOS ANGELES – New print ads for a Venice, Calif., skateboard maker take a political stand against the hypocrisy of mainstream American culture’s view of what is socially unacceptable behavior.
The low-budget effort is the first from WPA Communications, Santa Monica, Calif., for Grind King, maker of lightweight boards.
Each ad juxtaposes an image of violence or hatred with one of skateboarding. One ad, for example, shows a woman holding a gun and a dead rabbit. The headline reads, “This is legal.” To the right is an image of a skateboarder sliding down a handrail, with the line, “This is not.”
Other ads contrast skateboarding with the Ku Klux Klan and boxing. The tag is, “Grind King. Smart ideas for a stupid world.”
“The message is timely in light of events like [the Columbine High School shootings],” said Steve Esbin, who heads WPA’s strategic marketing. “It questions our priorities.”
The ads are running in enthusiast publications though the fall. ¡